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Austrian Film Producers Visit 10th Mountain Archives

A pair of Austrian film producers visited the U.S. in November to get background on the 10th Mountain Division and the contributions of Hannes Schneider of “Schneider Cup” fame, and of Hannes’ son Herbert, who served in the 10th Mountain Division. Producers Alessandra Ravanelli, Marcus Knaus and local contact Cobal Thurman started their trip in Vermont and New Hampshire and made a stop to visit Sepp Scanlin at the Fort Drum Museum. They also visited in Denver with Dr, Chris Juergens, Anschutz Associate Curator of Military History, to see the extensive collection of 10th Mountain Division archives. 

After visiting History Colorado, they proceeded across the street to Denver Public Library’s collection. The team from Austria was unable to meet with Keli Schmid, Special Collections Librarian for the 10th Mountain archives, but were introduced to the collection by David Little, historian for the Foundation. Upon seeing the contents of just four or the cartons of material, they said, “We’ll have to move to Denver!” An additional trip to meet with Keli is planned for later this year, as they have just scratched the surface of the materials they seek.

Day 2 in Denver was spent recording interviews with Chris and Dave, discussing the training at Camp Hale and the impact that the 10th Mountain soldiers had on the post-WWII ski industry across the United States. Examples of equipment from the collection at History Colorado were used to illustrate the innovation and changes wrought by the soldiers on skis  From Denver, the team was off to points west where a visit to the Colorado Snow Sports Museum was planned, as well as other points of interest.

Alessandra and Marcus work with Blue Danube Media, an Austrian film producer, and are creating a series for international distribution about Skimeister Hannes Schneider and his contributions to skiing worldwide. Ranging from his ski schools in Austria and the U.S. of A to teaching trips to Japan and elsewhere, Schneider had a major impact on ski techniques beginning in the 1920s, and his style can be seen in today’s skiing style. The first of this multi-part series is planned for release to Austrian TV in late 2022, and episodes should be syndicated worldwide shortly thereafter.